No-Cost Extensions (NCE)

A no cost extension extends the end date on a sponsored award with no additional funds added by the sponsor to cover the extended period. A no cost extension allows for the extension of time to complete work outlined in the original statement or scope of work on an award.

How to make a no cost extension request?

Email Michelle Hildebrand, in the Grants & Contracts Administration (GCA) office, at, along with your request for a no cost extension. Identify the project Id for the award you are requesting the extension for, and include a justification which should explain your reason for the extension and what you hope to accomplish during the extended time. The requested new end date should also be provided. Once the information is provided, a request will be submitted to the sponsor.

When to request a no cost extension?

It is best to request a no cost extension prior to the end date of the award. Some agencies require requests be made 30 days prior, 45 days prior, or more before the current end date. 

How long does a no cost extension take to process?

There is no standard amount of time for a no cost extension to be processed. The timeframe is dependent on the agency or contract entity. Some federal agencies take several months to process and approve, and others respond in a matter of days. Our industry partners may indicate in the contract if a no cost extension is allowable and when a no cost extension can be requested.

Are multiple no cost extensions allowed on a sponsored award?

Subsequent no cost extensions can be allowed but usually require more information than a first no cost extension that was previously granted. How remaining funds are to be spent is one example of additional information that may be requested. Subsequent no cost extensions can also take more time to be approved.

What is a grantee approved no cost extension?

Some federal agencies allow for grantee approved no cost extensions when a first-time extension is being requested on a sponsored award. A grantee approved extension is automatically approved by the agency with the understanding that the institution’s Grants Office has reviewed and approved the extension, with the appropriate justification provided.  The no cost extension request must still be submitted to and processed by the federal agency.